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Small victories, large defeats.

Updated: 2017-11-17T07:00:03-05:00


Why the Phillies’ Hot Stove will be luke warm


On Episode 163 of The Felske Files, Jim Salisbury from NBC Sports Philadelphia explains why we shouldn’t get our hopes up for a big splash by the Phils this winter. The Felske Files is brought to you by Draft is a fantasy football website featuring live snake drafts that allow you to pick a new team each and every week, without worrying about the salary cap limitations of other daily fantasy sites. And if you sign up today and make your first deposit, you get one cash game for FREE by using the promo code FELSKE. Draft players are 80% more likely to win than if you play the other DFS sites, and if you’re not satisfied, you have a money back guarantee up to at least $100. Sign up now for Week 11! Just how aggressive are the Phillies going to get this off-season? As baseball’s Hot Stove season kicks into gear, that’s the question every Phillie fan wants answered. The truth is, the Phils could go in a million different directions. The Phillies need starting pitching, at least one arm if not two. They could do something out of character and go after one of the two premier free agent starters in Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta. They could go for a mid-range pitcher like Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb. Or they could try and get another couple reclamation projects, like they’ve done over the last few years with Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz and Charlie Morton. The Phillies could trade one of their young outfielders or some top prospects in exchange for a controllable starter under 30, like Gerrit Cole or Chris Archer. They could trade for a veteran starter who has a ton of money on their contracts, like Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke. Or they could stand pat and go with the arms they already have on their roster, hoping for a bounce back season from Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez. The Phillies could move Cesar Hernandez and plug Freddy Galvis in at second base until Scott Kingery is ready for his promotion in mid-May. They could trade Galvis, too, and allow him to be a starter someplace else, giving them an infield of Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford, Kingery and Rhys Hoskins. Or they could go after a big-name first baseman in free agency and play Hoskins mostly in left field this season, but only if they trade away one of Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams or Odubel Herrera. Phew. That’s a lot of possibilities, and there are probably more than I haven’t even thought of. The Phils have about $6 million in salary on the books for next season (before arbitration deals are agreed to), the fewest of any team in the big leagues. Because they have deep pockets and aren’t spending any money, agents around baseball are going to link their clients to the Phillies even if there really is very little chance the Phils want their clients. But that’s the “fun” part of the Hot Stove season, trying to determine the idle rumor and speculation from the real truth. One way to know if you’re getting the real dirt on what general manager Matt Klentak is thinking is to pay attention to whatever Phillies beat writer Jim Salisbury from NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. He’s perhaps the most plugged-in of the local beat writers, and he joins Episode 163 of The Felske Files to talk about what the Phils might do this winter (18:53 mark). Here’s a hint: don’t expect anything crazy. width="100%" height="400" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""> ADVERTISE WITH THE FELSKE FILES! Email John Stolnis at for rates. I have rates to match every budget! PLEASE VISIT THE FELSKE FILES TEEPUBLIC.COM STORE, the BEST collection of Phillies T-shirts anywhere on the interworld! Click right here for phenomenal T-shirts and other apparel! PLEASE CLICK HERE for the official Felske Files iTunes feed. Also[...]

The Dirty Inning, Episode 17: A Dirty Doubleheader



One filthy frame to get you dirty and a restorative baptism to clean you off.

Folks, it’s been a surreal couple of weeks.

The Phillies welcomed a new manager to the fold, one from outside the organization who embraces all of the modernization the Phillies have avoided for generations.

And just last week, the tragic passing of Roy Halladay has us all scrambling to find the words to memorialize a player who affected us so deeply.

Justin Klugh and Trevor Strunk have, after weeks of a hiatus, reopened The Dirty Inning files to both look back on the filthiest inning we could find on Gabe Kapler (NO ONE IS IMMUNE, GABE) and to celebrate one of the finest innings in Phillies history, authored by the immortal hand of Roy Halladay.

Enjoy. And remember to rate us on iTunes.

And like us on Facebook.

And Twitter.

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2017 Phillies player review: Jorge Alfaro


Hip hip! Jorge Alfaro has always been the diamond in the rough, go big or go home prospect. He would either flop in the high minors due to a lack of plate discipline and overall approach, or he’d terrorize pitching in said upper minors and continue to do so after reaching the majors. 2017 proved to be a roller coaster ride for Alfaro with him eventually coming out on top. Jorge started the season in major league camp with long shot odds at making the Opening Day roster due to the presence of Cameron Rupp and Andrew Knapp. After just five Spring Training games, the Phillies optioned Alfaro to triple-A Lehigh Valley where he’d play for most of the season. Everyone wanted to see one thing out of Alfaro this season during his time with the IronPigs: an improved approach at the plate. Instead, triple-A pitching got the best of Alfaro after the 24-year-old Colombian got out to a hot start. From April 7 to May 11, Alfaro hit .333/.364/.495 with four doubles, two triples and three home runs even while striking out 32 times and walking just twice. Extend the dateline to May 31 and Alfaro still walked just three times in the first two months of the season in comparison to 54 strikeouts. Some improvement needed to be done regardless of the slash line. It was as summer rolled around that Alfaro began to struggle at the plate. From June 1 until the time he was recalled by the Phillies on August 3, Alfaro slashed .190/.267/.304 while going for just six doubles and four home runs. Those numbers simply did not represent what Alfaro truly was at the plate. His career minor league average sits right around .260, even after hitting .241 this season with the IronPigs. His triple-A SLG finished at .358, second-worst only to the .291 mark he put up as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League in 2010. The only improvement we saw with Alfaro was the one everyone had hoped to see: plate discipline. Alfaro walked 13 times in his last two months with Lehigh Valley as compared to walking three times in his first two months. The issue was that the improved plate discipline, albeit still below average, did not continue to result in hits, specifically extra-base hits. So what better way to snap out of a two-month long slump than by being promoted to the MLB? The reason Alfaro was called up was not because of his improved plate discipline or that the Phillies thought a major league strike zone would help him get in a groove. He was promoted simply because Andrew Knapp went down with a wrist injury, leaving Cameron Rupp as the only catcher on the active roster. Alfaro’s services, however incomplete they may have been, were needed on the Phillies. Alfaro’s 2017 hitting stats (29 games): Standard: 114 PA, .318/.360/.514, 6 2B, 5 HR, 3 BB, 31 K, 0.6 fWARAdvanced: 2.6% BB%, 28.9% K%, .420 BABIP, .369 wOBA, 127 wRC+ Alfaro made his 2017 Phillies debut on August 5 at Coors Field in Colorado. He would not play again until August 11 at home against the Mets as former skipper Pete Mackanin was riding with Rupp. It was shortly thereafter that Alfaro began earning increased playing time. Through August 23, Alfaro carried a nine-game hit streak - ten-game counting his final appearance of 2016 - in which he hit .324/.324/.432 and tallied his first career major league double and home run. You’ll notice that his batting average and on-base percentage were the same through those first nine games, and that is because Alfaro failed to draw a walk - or be hit by a pitch - in those contests. It was not until Alfaro’s tenth game of 2017 that he drew his first walk, and it turns out he drew two that day. The only other free pass for Alfaro came in his second-to-last game of the season on September 29 against the Mets. The extra-base hits and slugging percentage were a pleasant surprise. Alfaro came just two home runs shy of tying his triple-A total of seven, a feat that took him 84 games to accomplish in comparison to just 29 major league games. His doubles total of six just about halved his 13[...]

MLB GM Meetings: Phillies recap, Day Three


A slower day in Orlando allows our pulses return to normal. You know how you think the Phillies are blessed with a few gifted outfielders? At least to the point that accruing more outfielders isn’t a fruitful use of their time at the MLB GM Meetings in Orlando? Well, get this [leans in uncomfortably close, forcing you to experience my peanut-breath]: The Cardinals have even more of ‘um. Harrison Bader, Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty and Magneuris Sierra! If you know some of those names, you’re already up to speed. But for those of you who haven’t heard Harrison Bader’s OPS whispered between strangers on the street, it’s .764. Consider yourself informed. There’s actually seven of these guys on the Cardinals’ major league roster, and double that if you total the number of them from AA to the big leagues. So, naturally, St. Louis is looking to deal some of their bounty for a Giancarlo Stanton-level talent to put in their lineup; only, you know, not Giancarlo Stanton, because he doesn’t want to play there. What does this have to do with anything? Well, this article bothered to mention that the Phillies have had “passing interest” in “ one of the Cardinals outfielders” recently, though whether or not they still have that interest, given their own stability at the position, is left up for interpretation—as is, when you really consider this wording, whether or not it’s actually Grichuk: The Phillies and Baltimore Orioles are also teams that have had had at least passing interest in at least one of the Cardinals’ outfielders. Randal Grichuk has been the outfielder that comes up the most often, and he was scouted at the trade deadline by a handful of teams That was a hell of a whiz-banger to lead off the trade rumors post, wasn’t it? A half-muttered mention in an article from late on Tuesday night? That’ what you come here for. Sorry I sort of took you for a walk there. But try this on for size: This is the year Scott Boras finally took the acid tablets he always keeps in his pocket at these meetings, swearing he’s going to take them. Scott Boras on free agent starter Jake Arrieta: He's a big squirrel with lots of nuts in his trees— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 15, 2017 Yep. The Phillies are listed—along with eight other teams, mind you—as “considering” first base options, something that, if you watched the team this year, specifically in September, specifically Rhys Hoskins, makes you wonder, hey now, just what in the heck are they doing? Perhaps Hoskins is viewed by the organization as more valuable in left field, leaving first base an option to acquire some established power. Of course, that would mean an outfield spot down the drain, making the potential arrival of a Stanton or a Yelich or a Yelich-type all the more precarious, and meaning that multiple members of the current set-up could be out of a job. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Here, that was a lot to take in so fast; I apologize. Stabilize yourself with some rumors that make sense, because they sync up with what we’ve been hearing for months now: “A trade is possible. The Angels have filled infield vacancies in each of the last two seasons via deals with Washington, and they extensively examined Philadelphia’s Cesar Hernandez this season.” Cesar Hernandez, a prime member of the middle infield logjam that also factors in Freddy Galvis, J.P. Crawford, and Scott Kingery, has been linked to the Angels in theory and reality for weeks. Reportedly, the Phillies really think that he is a good baseball player, because he is one, so despite the fact that he’s not a hot young prospect, he may not be the one to take his leave, despite the Angels’ interest—one hold-up on a deal with Anaheim, however, is that it’s not clear if the Phillies value any of their assets enough to make a swap. Keep in mind that this is the organization that birthed Matt Klentak, so he likely is all too fam[...]